Ginger Cookies

GingerCookiesbyAllthingszeudon.wordpress.com
17th Feb ’14

Early morning baking. First attempt at Ginger Cookies. Sis helped. Absolute hit. Divine texture.

Edible Garden’s Ginger Cookies recipe

I probably used the wrong (slightly bigger)  cup for the measurements, because I ended up with dough enough to make more than I originally intended to. Crazy.

Totally going to refrigerate half of it to bake later. I love how it enhances the flavour and texture.

18th Feb ’14

Spent the night baking the cookies. If they’re not amazing, I don’t know what is. Made them for my twin-by-soul friend-sister Soumya (I call her Twee), since they’re so good and look like they can endure a day’s journey over to her city by mail, and mainly because I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Her exams are upon her and I hope this’ll bring some zing to her stressful schedule. 🙂 Will be posting them by eve.

19th Feb ’14

THEY REACHED HER! And she loved them. 😀 Soooo happy! These past two days have been joyous and productive. Especially for someone half as lazy as me. Heh.

Thanks for reading!

Much love,

Pratty

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Silhouette-y

They say there’s something about sunset. Depends on the person’s perspective as to whether they find it depressing, peaceful, or a bringer of pure melancholy.

I say there’s something silhouette-y about the ambience of dusk. I’d go into finer details of philosophy, but nah. Sometimes it’s better to enjoy something just how it appears. Floating on the surface than scuba diving into it and missing a spectacular moment above.

Sonset1 final

 

Oh, and wow. This is my 50th post. 😀

— Praty

Homemade Vada – Fritter-like snack

Homemade Vada by mum. 😀
Vada (a.k.a Bada, Bara) originated in Southern India. Be it store bought or homemade, it’s a much favoured snack in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha (my state) and Sri Lanka.

Doughnut-shaped, a savoury snack usually made from lentil, dal, gram flour, or potato, and that can be eaten with ketchup, chutney, curry, salad, or simply with anything you like.

Often on roadsides you can see vendors frying vadas, or in sweet shops and the like.

A very famous collaborated form of Vada is the Dahi Vada. Of many things, my city of Cuttack is also known for its something-special-about-it Dahi Vada (/Bara, as called in my language). I don’t know how or why “Cuttack’s Dahi Vada” is so renowned. But it is. And there’s no denying it really is out of the world. I’ll make sure I write a post dedicated only to its awesomeness. Heh.

Vada final wala final

And yes. These homemade vadas were fab.

— Praty

The turbulent mind

Often we draw what’s going on in our mind. Be it rainbows and rains or storms and turbulent seas.

That’s me in the photo with something I drew yesterday. And I absolutely love to express the fact that I ace at defiling walls. 🙂

Captured by my sister Priyasha.  Her brilliant photography.

The Mind by Priyasha Photography posted on allthingszeudon.wordpress.com

— Praty

The sunshine after a rain

Image

SQUIRREL. I mean, finally. I had to zoom so much, and run around trying to follow its movements. And all I could get was this one click. To me it’s kinda precious. 🙂 I love squirrels. 😀

Squirrel by allthingszeudon_wordpress

Another zoomed shot of a rather small creature.

dragon by pratyusha - allthingszeudon.wordpress

Birdie. 😀

bird by Pratyusha - allthingszeudon.wordpress

I had posted a similar pic once, the difference is that now a Peepal/Bo-Tree has sprouted there. o.O

Peepal by Pratyusha - allthingszeudon.wordpress

P.S: I won’t be watermarking my stuff as Zeudon anymore… Pseudonyms are fun, but sometimes we lose ourselves behind them.

— Pratty

Yay-worthy times

Image

It’s mum’s birthday and I made some small and simple mushroom pizzas as an early (it was 5 am) morning celebration. With sis’s help, of course.

Mum absolutely loved it. 🙂

bdy-2

Okay, this cake we made yesterday with instant cake-mix was awesome! And… I really hope they’d write “Do not eat batter” on the pack. I think I had a spoonful before baking it. Really, if chilled, the batter could’ve passed as chocolate pudding.

caku-2

Also, we watched a lovely Hindi movie! Aashiqui 2. Sequel to a movie from 1990. But completely unrelated (I’m glad). Wow, I wish Bollywood would make more such movies!

— Pratty

Sugar Vanilla Cookies – Utterly whimsical

Why whimsical? Possibly ’cause that’s what you’d classify a 4am baking expedition as. And considering I just made them without any recipe in mind, to my surprise, they turned out to be quite sinful. Able to quench the sudden cravings. Heh.

 

So. The recipe is VERY simple. In fact, the ingredients are the ones almost every dessert-and-baking-friendly household seems to have 24×7. Also, it’s very flexible, and you can totally make whatever changes you wanna.

One more thing – You don’t need to add caster/powdered/confectioner’s sugar. I opted for the normal one ’cause I didn’t want the first bite to be an explosion of super sweetness. I’m prone to toothache. Besides, you can feel the texture and sweetness blend and increase with every crunch, when using normal sugar. Yummy.

Oh and I couldn’t take pics of the process so the instructions might seem more or less explanatory…

Sugar Vanilla Cookies

Sugar Vanilla Cookies

Prep time: 10 mins, Baking time: 15 mins, Makes: 14 medium sized cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (you can use whole wheat flour instead)
  • 3/4 cup sugar. Feel free to tamper with how much YOU want to add.
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup butter or refined oil. Again, feel free to adjust it to your preference.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cashew nuts / almonds / chocolate chips / similar alternative
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom (optional)

Method: 

  • Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt well in a bowl. Add half of the butter/oil into it and lightly stir, add the rest of the butter/oil and mix them coarsely.  
  • Break in the egg, vanilla essence and cardamom. Knead it roughly at first so the sugar and butter blend, softening.  The dough will look flaky throughout. If it’s too soft/sticky add some flour, if too dry – add some butter/oil. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar and knead. This extra sugar is what you see in the pictures. After baking they look like tiny diamonds. Or at least that’s how I think of them.
  • Form a dough, leave it like that for a few minutes, and prepare the baking tray by slightly buttering/oiling it then sprinkling some flour on it and dusting off the excess, take out your cookie cutters (or your tool of choice), rolling pin, and lightly dust a clean flat surface with some flour. Preheat oven.
  • Retrieve the dough, you’ll notice it has softened a bit more, check if it’s yielding, if it isn’t – give it a few more kneads, place it on the floured surface and roll it ever so gently. Or simply flatten it out using your hand. Make sure it’s not flattened too thickly. Should be thinner than half an inch.
  • Cut them using cookie cutters or your preferred tool. Place them an inch apart on the tray. Take the nuts/chips, add some on top of the cookies, gently pressing them in.
  • Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 mins. Once done they’ll look golden-brown around the edges, leave them in the oven for 2-3 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack. They  might seem semi-soft in the middle but will crisp down while cooling.

Here’s a suggestion – Leave the first batch to cool; place a second one in the oven. While it’s baking, make yourself some tea/coffee/hot-chocolate; and simply relax relishing some warm cookies with your favourite beverage. 🙂

If you try the recipe, do let me know if you like it! And feel free to shoot me an angry email if you don’t. 😀

If you find something confusing, do comment about it so I can clear it out. 🙂

Sis clicked this The 'diamond effect' is apparent here :D

Sis clicked this
The ‘diamond effect’ is visible here 😀

— Pratty

Some goals accomplished

In this summer to-do list I mentioned starting new oil paintings and starting acrylic painting.

Well, two goals accomplished. I did my first palette knife paining with a makeshift palette knife thingy I made by flattening a spoon, ’cause I’m crafty like that. Anyway, it’s been a week of firsts. It was also my first painting of poppies! 🙂 Now, we don’t have poppies here in India (and if we do – definitely not in my region) so I’m not too familiar with them. But. I tried.

It’s still incomplete. Since the layer is so thick, it needs an abundance of drying time! Oil paint. Sigh.

Poppy

Sitting on my easel, haha. ^_^ I know, they look naught like poppies, but hey! I’ve got plenty of time to finish them. Might improve, if patient.

Currently I don’t have a picture of my first acrylic painting done with proper palette knives. It requires some tweaking, then will be up on here. It’s nothing grand, though. Just a 20x25cm thing. 

The list also included some photography. The pictures I clicked recently aren’t of photography caliber, but I guess they’ll count.

Wiry problems

Wiry problems. That’s an electrician with a ladder, leaning against an electric pole with tangled wires. ‘Cause, well, summer is a synonym of power cuts and similar problems, here.

kids playing

Kids playing outside. *wipes happy tears*

I’m also kind of thinking of making a movie thingy of sorts.

Looks like there won’t be much time to read books… Maybe I’ll just have to squeeze sleep, reading, and food into whatever crevices my schedule has left.

— Pratty

Their open windows

Objects flung around, crashing, and again

Like every other night, they were shouting

Our neighbours, who were anti-social

Never even went for a simple outing

 

 

They would scream, one would weep

Weep all night long, going silent at dawn

Only when she went silent could I sleep

Always through the wee hours of morn

 

 

Often I’d look out of my windows

At theirs, so quiet, so desolate

All I’d see are open windows

Giving no hint of a possible inmate

 

 

Almost every night here for years

Has been a lament of her sorrows

I wish they’d stop, not for me but her

Yet these have been fruitless tomorrows

 

 

They scared me in the beginning

Frightfully penetrating my nights

Now they just sadden me heaps

Forcing me to imagine her sights

 

 

Finally I plucked up the courage and asked

But the answer was displeasing to my ears

When asked who lived there, mum said

“No one has lived there for years.”

16 - final

My 3rd poem for NaPoWriMo. 😀 27 more… Hmm.

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